Italy a Thicket of Contradictions

Verdict in the "trial of the century" leaves tantalizing questions

Mehmet Ali Agca was at it again. "I am Jesus Christ," bellowed the man who shot Pope John Paul II. "All the world will be destroyed." The now familiar outburst came on March 22, the final day of the marathon "Bulgarian connection" trial in Rome. The prosecution's aim: to prove that the Turkish gunman, who was convicted in 1981 of gravely wounding the Pope on May 13 of that year in St. Peter's Square, was working for Bulgarian agents and, by implication, the Soviet Union. The ten-month trial of Agca's alleged accomplices--and of Agca himself for illegal possession of the pistol...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!